Joint Letter to Chairman Henry Hyde on Climate Change Language in State Department Authorization Legislation

Dear Chairman Hyde:


The undersigned non-profit organizations write to share our concerns with the sense of the Congress language on climate change adopted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on 9th April as part of State Department authorization legislation. We think that the scientific findings are tendentious, misleading, and in one instance based on a discredited source. We think that the resolutions are ill-advised and would put the United States back on the calamitous course of pursuing centrally-planned energy consumption and negotiating destructive but pointless international agreements.


In our view, the first finding would be more accurate if it read, “Newspaper headlines claim that evidence continues to build that increases in atmospheric concentrations of manmade greenhouse gases are contributing to global climate change.” The fact is that all kinds of evidence continue to build, including considerable evidence that human effects on global climate are small. The second finding quotes the brief Summary for Policymakers of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s massive Third Assessment Report. The summary was produced by governments assisted by United Nations scientific officials in order to support the Kyoto agenda. We do not believe that a reading of the full Third Assessment Report, which was produced by scientists, supports the summary’s claim. As for the “expectation” that average global temperatures will rise 2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit in the next century, the IPCC has been careful to explain that these are not predictions but rather are based on possible scenarios. Many analysts have concluded that the more extreme scenarios employed are practically impossible.


The third finding quotes a National Research Council panel endorsing the IPCC’s conclusions and then quotes the same panel as to “considerable uncertainty” about these conclusions. The full NRC report contains many similar expressions of uncertainty, and several other recent NRC reports on climate identify even more uncertainties. The fourth finding pointlessly observes that the IPCC has stated that sea levels have risen, etc. Not mentioned is the fact that the IPCC correctly does not attribute sea level rise to rising greenhouse gas emissions. Sea levels have been rising since the last Ice Age, and most scientists believe they will continue to rise until the next Ice Age.


The fifth scientific finding relies on the National Assessment on climate change, which has been thoroughly discredited in the scientific community and was disavowed by the Bush Administration. It is not, as the finding claims, “a United States Government report.” The computer models used to forecast possible impacts of climate change are not capable of making reliable regional forecasts according to one of the modeling teams employed.


In our view, the resolutions are even more flawed than the findings. The first two resolutions recommend that the U. S. adopt Kyoto-style policies to limit energy use by American consumers. The third resolution urges the U. S. to extend the Kyoto Protocol by negotiating a second round of binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions. As many leading global warming alarmists have discovered, the Kyoto Protocol is a dead end (or in the polite language of diplomacy a cul-de-sac) and so too are all similar approaches based on forcing cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. Adopting Kyoto-style policies would have enormous economic costs without making significant reductions in greenhouse gas levels.  Just at the moment that the Kyoto Protocol is collapsing and other industrialized countries that have ratified the Protocol are discovering that they cannot meet their targets is not the time to jump back on the Kyoto bandwagon.


For these reasons, we think that the Congress should not adopt any resolutions on climate policy without much more careful consideration and a much fuller debate. In the (as we believe) unlikely event that man-made climate change poses potential problems in the future, we think the only reasonable way to prepare to deal with these problems is by adopting policies that will foster long-term technological transformation and will increase our capability to respond to challenges.


Thank you for your attention to our thoughts and concerns.


Yours sincerely,


Fred Smith, President

and Myron Ebell, Director, Global Warming Policy

Competitive Enterprise Institute


Paul M. Weyrich, National Chairman

Coalitions for America


Grover Norquist, President

Americans for Tax Reform


Paul Beckner, President

Citizens for a Sound Economy


David Keene, Chairman

American Conservative Union


Malcolm Wallop, Chairman

Frontiers of Freedom


Duane Parde, Executive Director

American Legislative Exchange Council


James L. Martin, President

60 Plus Association


Tom Schatz, President

Citizens Against Government Waste


John Berthoud, President

National Taxpayers Union


Amy Ridenour, President

National Center for Public Policy Research


Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President

Center for Security Policy


Karen Kerrigan, Chairman

Small Business Survival Committee


Tom DeWeese, President

American Policy Center


Joseph L. Bast, President

The Heartland Institute


Paul Driessen, Senior Fellow

Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow


Steven Milloy, President

Citizens for the Integrity of Science


Lori Waters, Executive Director

Eagle Forum


Richard Lessner, Executive Director

American Renewal


Terrence Scanlon, President

Capital Research Center


Dennis T. Avery, Director

Center for Global Food Issues, Hudson Institute


Leroy Watson, Legislative Director

The National Grange


Kevin L. Kearns, President

U. S. Business and Industry Council


Bonner Cohen, Senior Fellow

Lexington Institute


Michael Hardiman, Legislative Director

American Land Rights Association


C. Preston Noell, III, President

Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.


Ron Pearson, President

Council for America


Jeffrey B. Gayner, Chairman

Americans for Sovereignty


Chuck Muth, President

Citizen Outreach


Benjamin C. Works, Executive Director



Allan Parker, Founder and CEO

Texas Justice Foundation


Alan Caruba, Founder

The National Anxiety Center


Mark Q. Rhoads, Acting President

U. S. Internet Council


Patrick Michaels, Professor of Environmental Sciences

University of Virginia


Robert Ferguson, Executive Director

Center for Science and Public Policy